Sierra Leone now has a Special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 April 2019:

The Chief Justice of Sierra Leone – Desmond Babatunde Edwards has established a Special Division of the High Court to expeditiously deal with those charged to court by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Sierra Leone’s judiciary is notorious for delaying cases at a heavy cost to the government as well as those whose lives are blighted by suspicion of wrongdoing.

The Anti-Corruption Division within the High Court structure will be exclusively responsible for handling corruption related matters brought before the courts, to ensure that they are heard promptly by dedicated judges in a specially equipped court for that purpose.  (Photo; Chief Justice Edwards).

The Anti-Corruption Court will temporarily be located in a separate area within the Law Courts Building in Freetown, and specifically designed to have its own staff, Registrar and special processes and procedures.

The following five judges have been assigned to the division: Hon. Justice Reginald Sydney Fynn, Hon. Justice Miatta Maria Samba, Hon. Justice Fatmata Bintu Alhadi, Hon. Justice Cosmotina Jarret and Hon. Justice Simeon Allieu.

One of the persistent criticisms in the fight against corruption has been the delay in the trial of cases brought forward to the courts by the ACC. Some cases usually take more than three years in court before judgements are passed.

The establishment of the special court for the trial of corruption-related cases, is a fulfilment of President Bio’s promise in the SLPP Manifesto and in Parliament, and a major deliverable for the Francis Ben Kaifala led ACC and the judiciary.

Once operational, cases will now move faster and will be better organised; and will further assure the people of Sierra Leone that the ACC can secure justice for the people within a reasonable time frame.

Additionally, significant progress has been made so far with the Anti-Corruption Amendment Act 2019, that was tabled in Parliament. Both the first and second readings of the Bill have been completed and committed to the legislative Committee for final consideration.

The Act will strengthen the powers of the ACC and ensure greater efficiency in carrying out its mandate.

The ACC is determined and optimistic that these strategic and necessary adjustments, once fully operational, will strengthen the fight against corruption and set the country on a firm trajectory for corruption control within the shortest possible time.

9 Comments

  1. Mr. Saidu Conteh, Will you please answer to my questions to save your credibility on this platform?
    You have not responded till now which I found very interesting. You seem to be dodging my questions which is unacceptable. Instead of answering my questions, you keep sneaking under the radar to other articles. Your mayhem just continues unabated.

    This is what I have decided. I will continue asking for answers each time I see Mr. Saudi Conteh appears with any comments on this platform. That will be my reply to any comments you make from now on. Bear in mind that this issue will not go away until you reply. I have the capacity to put you on the defensive and defeat you morally on this particular issue. No HIDING and no DODGING Mr. Saudi Conteh.

    Finally, your credibility on this platform is on the line. You have two options. Either you answer yes and accept, which will be good to restore your credibility, or say no to prove that you are just a nuisance.

    If you didn’t reply to my questions, I will draw my conclusions on your behalf for either accepting (saying yes) or refusing (saying no). So, DODGING or HIDING, a decision will be made for everyone on this platform to see.

    Finally, I am very grateful to the moderators to continue to publish people’s comments, even if it is full of garbage. That is what democracy which we all believe in is about.

  2. I have always maintained that I intensely loath both APC and SLPP, holding both of them responsible for the demise of the country, with APC being the more responsible, especially under Siaka Stevens and Ernest Koroma. However there have been individuals in both parties that I have taken a liking to politically because of the conviction that, given the right conditions, they would work for the progress of mother Sierra Leone.

    The work being done by President Bio at the moment I find quite impressive, which is why I support him, even though I tend to lean toward NGC and Dr Yomkella.

    The President’s appointment of Desmond B. Edwards as Chief Justice is already yielding good results as the latter has moved swiftly to ensure that all those accused of corruption are not denied a speedy trial, by appointing judges tasked with the sole responsibility of hearing such cases. A major advantage of this move has to be that, none of the accused can play for time and run out the clock to the next general elections with the possibility that a new government led by APC, will set them free for them to once again reengage in their devilish behaviour.

    The notion of a witch-hunt perpetrated by the Bio government fails to resonate with me, because all those accused of corruption so far have not presented any scrap of evidence to exculpate themselves and bring a counter legal action against ACC for trying to defame them.

    The appointment of special judges for corruption should also be positively seen as a transforming moment in our nations’s history. APC shall never forget what they are going through at the moment. If they ever regain power they will put SLPP through the gates of the opposite side of heaven – their ruthlessness is legendary. This alone should make Maada Bio and his team stay clean, thereby starting the cycle of cleanliness in government, much to the benefit of the nation.

    Whether President Bio appoints all women or all men for roles in his administration should only occupy the peripheries of our mind; this should also go for any ethnic or tribal combination in the government. Our focus should be on the outcome. It is the President’s political head that is on the line. We shall demand it on a plate if things go wrong.

  3. Sahr Matturi…there you go; I threw you a bait, and you swallowed it hook,line and sinker!…It is much easier to get you to reveal your one sided tribalistic opinion, than to get the head of a sleeping turtle out of its shell.

    I have read all your comments on this platform,and not one of them is critical of Bio, or informative to the general public at large…they are full of empty praises, and boring artificial support that is visible mainly on those who have sold themselves for scraps coming from the Masters table…inauthentic does not begin to describe you!

    Jealous? of whom? A criminal coup-plotter? Nope, your twisted mind is creating unfounded illusions, which may require urgent psychotic attention.

    As long,as the SLPP continues its witch-hunting,agendas…I do not intend to be even-handed, or impartial in my criticisms of them. The intimidations, threats, scapegoating arrests must stop now!

    And by the way,why is Bio running again into the waiting arms of the IMF for help…an organisation that has brutally molested,and raped the African continent, unremorsefully, time without number?

    Any sensible answers in that twisted mind of yours? Listen…next time you comment on a worldwide platform like this one; be cautious,and pragmatic with the words you use and utter; no one is interested in hearing your shallow, uninspiring, pretentious,and half-baked opinions….”Rising Sun will Rise Again!”

    • Mr. Saidu Conteh please read this article again and respond to what I asked of you. In my view, you will be credible on this platform if a sincere answer is given.
      I promised you then, that I will keep reminding you till I get a answer. But, since I don’t want to be a nuisance as others do to all the credible ladies and gentlemen on this platform, I decided not to until you come with your CLOUD CUCKOO land ideas and rhetoric again. Being a nuisance is not a good character to be pegged on someone.
      Moreover, there are times when it makes sense to suspend a verdict to keep the accused under pressure, dodging, popping and teetering here and there.
      So, please answer to my questions. This can be done within five minutes Saidu.
      By the way.

  4. Saidu, you completely missed the point here. MAY I ask you if you are talking for talk sake?
    Be fact and not fake with your conscience. Your idea about praising the President for a job well done is like the tip of a NAIL I’m afraid. So, let’s give PRAISE where PRAISE DESERVES. Are you JEALOUS? I hope note. ARGUE.

    We should all be responsible and fair with our criticisms of the President, the government or anyone in authority. No matter what our political positions might be? MAY I end by saying that you are blind and offside on this particular issue.
    I challenge you to keep this discussion open and let the platform judge. YOU ARE WELCOME.

    • Sahr Matturi…I wrote you a lengthy response a few minutes ago, but it got butchered, diced, sliced and sacrificed, by the hands of seriously cautious, arm-chair moderators….They were alarmed and afraid, perhaps, of what I had to say; hahahaha…guess censorship, keeps the world secure, and safe; and it also helps keep outspoken people like me under control…listen,I have read all of your comments, and they are full of nothing of substance, nothing credible, inspiring, informative, or factual…Absolutely nothing! Only empty praises,and meaningless phrases…and of course, your trade mark, noisy political trumpet-blowing!

      As long as the SLPP continues to harass, intimidate, arrest and persecute APC supporters and members, I do not intend to be fair, reasonable,and impartial in my criticisms of them. Here is a piece of advice – I am convinced, you will be of greater help and service, to the SLPP if you start explaining their positions clearly, instead of fawning, clowning,and Cheer leading a masquerade for them, shamelessly, on a worldwide platform like this one…Be authentic;”Rising Sun Will Rise Again”

  5. Sahr Matturi…please try to address the issues and complexities involved in the implementation, financing and management of such an important institution. Instead of blindly singing the praises of Bio and lifting the banners of the SLPP, l would advise that you carefully use and examine facts, figures, data, and other viable relevant findings to see if such a mandate will work, and is not another SLPP White Elephant in the making.

    Let me guess, this is another ploy of the SLPP designed to intimidate, harass, arrest, molest, persecute, and tarnish the opposition, isn’t it? Well it won’t work! The APC is resilient, tough, unbreakable like the diamonds unearthed in Tongo fields.

    We have seen it all and done it all. For such a thing to work, it must be free of bias, tribalism and scapegoating. Tell your SLPP cronies we will be observing and watching them. “Surely the Rising sun will someday rise again”.

    • Writing a lengthy comment or not does not matter. What matters is whether your argument is in line with the subject or issue being discussed. I don’t have a lengthy comment or will not comment twice on something that is very simple and straightforward.

      Please answer this question: Was I praising President Bio because of his HE title or because his government did a very good job by appointing more IRON LADIES than GENTLEMEN to the new Anti-Corruption Court and also because the court is set up to try people charged with SWINDLING the country’s money?

      Moreover, you said that you have been following my comments. But, I don’t feel or think so. Also, thank you for making me a member of the SLPP. I don’t think that is a bad idea. Finally, your double commentary just shows disappointment and defeat. So, double comments or not is not of concern. The business here now is to answer my very simple question to you. The debate and discussion continues. Thank you very much Saidu for debating with me.

  6. AWESOME and FANTASTIC. Our LADIES have started outnumbering the GENTLEMEN in public offices. Good one.
    This is one of the greatest days for our LADIES in the country’s history. I hope, the government of President Bio will continue what they have just started. Three LADIES out of five in such a very important Special Court Setup. OH Boy.

    This Special Court is going to be the most FAIR, STRICT, CAPABLE and NO NONSENSE ever to be established in Sierra Leone with these three IRON LADIES included. People will very soon see how effective women are. This is a very huge responsibility which, with the help of these all capable LADIES, will be carried out METICULOUSLY, SWIFTLY and EFFECTIVE in my view. No doubt about that.

    I agree with the President this time. MAY GOD GUIDE AND BLESS ALL THE JUDGES APPOINTED TO THIS SPECIAL COURT.
    Thank you very much President Bio and GOD BLESS YOU.
    AMEN AND AMEN.

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